Imagine your child undergoing a complex dental treatment like a root canal, extraction, or oral surgery. When treatment is complete, your child will have minimal to no recollection of the time it took, the pain, the noise, or the discomfort. We are pleased to offer your child the option of comfortable, safe, and effective sedation dentistry. Our pediatric dental patients who benefit from sedation dentistry have:
- A fear or anxiety of being at the dentist
- A hard time sitting still for long periods of time
- A hard time getting (and staying) numb from anesthetics
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry allows your pediatric dentist to provide a variety of dental treatments safely and comfortably for children who experience anxiety when visiting the dentist. There are several benefits to sedation dentistry, including:
- Minimal to no memory of undergoing the procedure
- Altered or no sense of time while under sedation
- Decreased sense of smell or sound
- Lessened fear or anxiety during treatment
Levels of Sedation
Sedation dentistry is closely regulated by law, and there are two sedative states at which your child's dentist can administer treatment: mild sedation and moderate sedation.
- Mild Sedation — Anxiolysis is the lightest form of sedation dentistry and is often used for children with mild anxiety, longer procedures, or more complex situations. Nitrous oxide inhalation (laughing gas) results in relaxation during treatment.
- Moderate Sedation — Used for patients with moderate dental anxiety and for patients who need longer or more complex procedures, conscious sedation is usually administered orally in combination with nitrous oxide. Your child will remain awake or very sleepy throughout the entire procedure and will be able to breathe normally, but he or she will feel a great sense of relaxation. Patients typically recover from anxiolysis sedation within a few hours after the procedure is complete.
How are sedatives administered?
- Inhalation — Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is the most frequently used method for easing mild to moderate anxiety. Recovery is quick so your child can resume normal activities immediately.
- Oral — An extremely common technique for dental sedation is oral sedation. Your child will drink a liquid medication at the dentist office, where you will wait for about an hour for the medication to take effect prior to the start of dental treatment.
Please contact our practice to schedule a consultation, learn more about sedation dentistry, and find out which sedation dentistry method may be right for your child.